“Happiness Ranking in the US Drops Significantly as a Particular Group Faces Most Challenges”

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It seems the kids in America are not all right.

The annual World Happiness Report found that the US is now in 23rd place on its list of the world’s happiest countries.

The US plummeted eight positions compared with last year, falling out of the top 20 for the first time since the report was first compiled in 2012. It’s published by the Wellbeing Research Centre at the University of Oxford.

Finland held on to its top spot, while Canada is in 15th place and the UK is 20th.

The discontent among America‘s youth is largely behind the dramatic drop.

For the first time, the report published alternative rankings based on age range. In the under-30 category, the US dropped into 62nd place, behind countries including Saudi Arabia and Guatemala.

Jan-Emmanuel De Neve, a professor at Saïd Business School and editor of the World Happiness Report, called the decline of average happiness in the US “quite astonishing.”

He said the well-being of young Americans had “fallen off a cliff,” dragging the US down in the overall rankings. In contrast, the report found that older Americans had the most positive view of their quality of life.

De Neve said the report had found “disconcerting” drops in happiness in both North America and western Europe.

“To think that, in some parts of the world, children are already experiencing the equivalent of a mid-life crisis demands immediate policy action,” he said.

The report found that well-being among 15 to 24-year-olds had fallen in North America, western Europe, the Middle East and North Africa, and south Asia since 2019. In the rest of the world, happiness within the age range has generally risen.

Young people in America face a range of social issues, including a loneliness epidemic.

De Neve cited the rise of social media, a decline in youth mental health, and political division as potential factors driving the decline.

“There’s also the rising inequality,” he said. “In the United States, society is essentially torn apart between left and right; there’s a lot going on.”

“I don’t think you can put the blame on just one thing – it’s a whole host of reasons,” he added.

This article was originally published by Business Insider.

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